China No Longer Immune From Islamic Insurgency

7327081_f67bf70df0“The social order has returned to normal,” Xinjiang authorities declared after nine axe-wielding assailants were shot dead late Saturday night after attacking a police station in Serikbuya township, in northwest Xinjiang.  The police station was the same that came under attack in April in an incident that left fifteen security service members hacked and burned.

According to Xinhua, Islamic militants stormed the Serikbuya police station slaughtering two auxiliary police officers injuring two others.  The assault on Serikbuya marks an uptick in Islamic extremism within China’s borders.  It is the latest in a string of attacks blamed on the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM).

The East Turkestan Islamic Movement, predominantly comprised of Muslim Uighurs who are nine million strong, concentrate their number in northwestern Xinjiang, which borders the countries of Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

On June 26 Uighur extremists rushed the government compound in Lukqun leaving 24 police officers and civilians dead and 21 others critically injured.  An eye witness account of the June incident denoted in disbelief, “the rioters were in head-covers, with only two ferocious eyes exposed, and I heard them yelling and chasing a person. It was terrible, for the knives are very long.  I didn’t realize such horrible things until then.”

In July 2011, a group of men ran into a crowded street in the township of Kashgar stabbing people.  13 people were killed, another 42 injured.

A police officer involved in the incident left astonished that extremists attacked their own people, “I was bewildered that the rioters were Uygur people, and so are we.  But they slashed us so crazily…they killed innocent people, don’t they have parents or children?”

The surviving terrorists were sentenced to death.  Fugitives found were later stripped of their political rights for life for conspiracy to incite terrorist activity.

“China often blames the ETIM for incidents in Xinjiang.  Few believe that the group has any capacity to carry out any serious acts of terror in China.”  That according to a statement made by a BBC correspondent stationed in Bejing over 2,000 miles away.

Yu Zhengsheng, top advisor to the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) paid an inspection tour to the embattled region of Xinjiang offering condolences on behalf of central authorities to survivors.  Yu, urging social harmony, ethnic solidarity and containment of religious extremism, emphasized China’s fundamental means of regional stability – increased ethnic minority language instruction and vocational training.

Communist China views its Muslim Uighurs as an ethnic minority.  Chinese central authority gives their ethnic minorities opportunities to assimilate through re-education and work – the prescription for all that ails a Communist regime; the alternative, eradication at the hands of The People’s Liberation Army.

In contrast, Socialist Europe views its Muslim population as a socially and economically disenfranchised populous.  Assimilation is urged but not enforced.  As with Communist nations, European immigrant youth are offered bilingual education and vocational training.  Europe differs however by offering entitlements augmented with appeasement.  Whereas in our country, we respond to radical Islam with covert deportations, rechristening terrorist incidents as workplace violence (if acknowledged at all).

As it stands, China, a state with zero religious tolerance, continues to confront radical Islam as an on-going ethnic minority problem rather than an infestation of jihadist ideology.  If China’s Muslim Uighurs continues to fail to assimilate, eradication will only fuel more conversions with their martyrdom.  In a country devoid of God many may find the appeal of religion, though radicalized, enticing.  Exposing yet another flaw in Communist ideology, the vacuum left by stripping God out of Tiananmen Square has left the state vulnerable to the all too familiar plague of homegrown terrorism.  This in a country where bringing out the long knives is no longer a figure of speech.

Leslie Deinhammer

Illinois PolitiChick Leslie Anne Deinhammer, writer, chaplain and proud wife of a Marine Corps veteran, writes on topics of politics, human rights and faith. Follow her at @lesliedhammer on Twitter.

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